Pollution at rush hour further increases the risk of cancer and heart and respiratory diseases, according to a study carried out by experts from Duke University, Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology (United States) and that has been published in the magazine 'Atmospheric Environment'.
They reached this conclusion after placing specially designed devices to analyze car pollutants during the busiest times in downtown Atlanta. In fact, the devices, which were placed on the drivers' seats, detected up to twice as much particulate matter as the road sensors.
The team also found that the pollution contained twice the amount of chemicals that cause oxidative stress, which is believed to be involved in the development of many diseases including respiratory and heart disease, cancer and some types of neurodegenerative diseases.
"If these chemicals are as bad for people as many researchers believe, then travelers should seriously rethink their driving habits," the researchers have detailed.